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The Importance of Learning to Say No

Updated on August 19, 2015
Saying No can be positive
Saying No can be positive

No means No

Some people find it hard to accept you saying No. They will try to manipulate instead of taking you at your word. Most of the time this manipulation is for selfish reasons. However, be aware that sometimes they are trying to persuade you because they have your best interests at heart. Distinguishing between these two motives is a learning curve which changes according to the circumstances of the day.

Do not be too rigid with your No. Only use it when it is the right answer and you need to protect yourself from being manipulated into doing something that doesn't suit you or when the person asking is being unreasonable.

Saying yes when you mean No leads to resentment and annoyance.

There are advantages to saying No
There are advantages to saying No

Earn respect by saying No

There is probably no better way to earn respect than by saying No-and sticking to it. In courtship rituals in Western culture for example,it is more attractive to a man when a woman plays hard to get. She is not deemed a pushover and men sometimes like the woman to hold the reins even though the man wants the name of doing so.

Furthermore,parents who learn to say No to their children earn more respect as well and are better at child-rearing.

In the workplace,saying No has to be balanced with doing one's job but there is a place for it if one's colleagues are shunning their share of the work by "delegating" their work to you.

Avoid resentment by saying No

Resentment is unhealthy especially if it is chronic. Doing things against your will festers and does not foster good human relationships and interaction. It is a better idea to say No when it is appropriate to do so instead of being resentful while doing things.

An alternative to saying No is to change one's attitude to the task at hand rather than being resentful about saying Yes.

For example,someone who dislikes his/her job but needs to work can change his/her attitude to the job instead of saying No to working.

Some final words

It is inherent in the Christian philosophy that selfishness is a bad thing. This is not the case. In Eastern religions the focus is on the individual first and his/her spirituality.This seems more selfish but reaching out to other people as per the Christian ethos can lead to burnout if one doesn't say No when it is appropriate to do so.

Our first responsibility is to ourselves. Learning to say no when necessary fulfils this responsibility.

Comments are welcome and will be replied to. Thank you for your time reading this.

Which part of the word No do you not understand?
Which part of the word No do you not understand?

Comments

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    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      So true peachpurple. It is as simple as that. Cheers, Kate :-)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      It is ok to say no when needed, dont force yourself to do everything

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      That is not what I meant at all. Thank you for your reference to your hub. I will read it and comment as you suggested. Thank you for your feedback.

      Kate

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      That is not what I said at all. Thank you for the reference to your hub. I will read it and comment as you suggested. Thank you kindly for your feedback.

      Kate.

    • supremeupbeat k profile image

      Mahadeb Kar 

      3 years ago from Somewhere in India

      Kate Mc Bride

      No religion is against helping others especially the helpless people. Jesus said that. But how can you interfere that those who preached other religions campaigned against humanity for selfish reasons. Spirituality is to oneself is true but at the same time to help other was also practised. Hindu, Islam, Bouddha,Jaina etc do not order a ban against giving others,helping others. I have written a hub on memorable quotes by Swami Vivekananda(a Hindu astute) ,please read it and say if the rligion is against helping selflessly.

      No rligion is against humanity. Why has religion come in society? To deliver the message of humanity and morality.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks again Denise

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      You have expressed it very well here. I like the bit about adding glamour to our personality.I learn so much from other hubbers on here. Have just read your first sentence again-very eloquent. Thanks

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      You are right about how parenting has changed and for the worse too.A child with boundaries who knows the meaning of the word No is happier and more secure. After love,saying No to a child is probably the most important thing to do

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      These are wise words as usual from you Demas and I appreciate the humor/humour too- I will never get used to the American spelling :-)I appreciate the interest you take in my work with your regular frequent comments. You are my first penpal from Hubpages and probably the last too :-)

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Cheers for your help and clear instructions Denise.I never thought of all the other ways of saying No that you outline in your comment. I will follow your advice in the above comment by making sure that I too " have the time and space for my own health by being selective in the activities in which I choose to participate". I have learnt a lot from reading your hubs and will continue to follow your good example

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      ok.Christians are indoctrinated to move outwards to others by doing good to and for other people. That is a basic tenet of Christianity. On the other hand am I right in saying that Eastern religions focus on spirituality from within instead? Let me know if this is correct.

      Thank you for your feedback and hope this makes sense.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thank you for your feedback. I covered resentment and respect in this hub but you are right-guilt is another factor in learning to say No from two aspects-feeling guilty for saying No and being given a guilt trip by those trying to manipulate us. Well said.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      There are a couple of ways that this can be done, Kate. The first is to go into the comment function on your feed page. There is a comment function to the right of your picture. When there comments waiting moderation, you will see a green circle with a number indicating the number of comments waiting. When you click on it, you will have an approve button where you allow the comment, and once you push it, the reply button appears.

      When you are already on the hub page where the comments are, you have to click off the page (such as going back to your e-mail list), and then come back to it. Once you do, you can add a new comment.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thank you so much for all your comments-so insightful and much appreciated. As this is the first time I have received more than one comment at a time I have to learn how to reply to them one at a time as there is no reply button under each comment. If any of you can help me out with this it will be much appreciated. I am delighted with all the feedback on this hub and look forward to replying to you individually Cheers :-)

      Kate

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 

      3 years ago

      Kate your creative idea about the assertion of a negative term has tremendous positive energy. I never knew it's importance. Sometimes saying no add glamour to our personality, very true. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      3 years ago from Jamaica

      The last time i went on a date and my partner asked me to foot the bill i said NO. Well, she wasn't my patner any more;)

      But i can relate to the parenting technique as parents today are afraid to say no to their child. Good hub

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      It seems to me that parents really need to learn the value of this word "No." and, it is only valuable to the max, if it stays a "No."

      There is the old joke which goes: "When a politician says 'Yes' he means 'Maybe'. When he says 'Maybe' he means 'No'. When he says 'No' he's no politician." "When a lady says 'No' she means 'Maybe'. When a lady says 'Maybe' she means 'Yes', but when a lady says 'Yes' she's no lady!"

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      There is definitely a time and a place for a "no" response. The older I get, the more I realize that to keep my finances intact and my relationships solid, saying "no" is necessary. We have caller ID on our telephones, and I check to see who is calling in order to avoid phone solicitors. I have a ready "delete" action for e-mails that are not wanted, and have learned how to "unsubscribe" to those I did not choose. I also make sure that I have the time and space for my own health by being selective in the activities in which I choose to participate. It has made life a lot easier for me!

    • supremeupbeat k profile image

      Mahadeb Kar 

      3 years ago from Somewhere in India

      Its good to learn the art of saying 'no' to others. But I can not understand diffenrence between eastern and western religious philosophies.

    • paolaenergya profile image

      Paola Bassanese 

      3 years ago from London

      Definitely useful to be reminded that it's OK to say to - there's no point in feeling guilty or doing things because we feel we are "forced" to do them.

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